Poll: Should GPs be allowed to dispense?


doctor holding up a bottle of pills

The idea of GPs dispensing medicines has again arisen in the RACGP’s submission to the King Review

The College’s submission states that incentives to pharmacy to provide access to after-hours medicines are not necessary when GPs could perform some dispensing duties instead.

“Patients visiting a GP outside of normal business hours may have an expectation of access to prescribed medicines,” the submission says.

“The Pharmacy Review raises a proposal of an incentive payment to support pharmacies to operate after hours.

“Given that a number of pharmacies already have extended business hours, an additional incentive is unnecessary unless a clear case regarding access to medications after hours can be articulated.

“To promote a cost-effective and coordinated health system, a more efficient option would be to allow GPs who are already offering after-hours services to dispense a range of commonly used medications when necessary.”

Earlier this year, a UK doctor’s magazine also argued in an editorial for GP dispensing, saying that if the NHS was redesigned from scratch, community pharmacies would not be included.

At the time, Pharmacy Guild Queensland Branch president Tim Logan told the AJP that in most cases, keeping the steps separate was vital.

“The more steps there are in the process, the more chances you have to detect errors,” Logan told the AJP.

“That’s not to say that if you have infinite steps you’ll be infinitely safe, but if you’ve got the same people being involved in prescribing and dispensing you’re losing that independent audit.”

What do you think?

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